CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government is set to give a big push to climate change mitigation efforts, and some major announcements are likely in the upcoming Budget session. Currently, Tamil Nadu is at the crossroads in terms of sustainable development, with 41 per cent of the State’s coast eroding, as per the latest report by the Chennai-based National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR).
Meanwhile, an analysis done by NASA, using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report to assess changes in sea level globally, claims 12 coastal cities in India, including Chennai, are likely to go underwater by the end of the century.
Sources told TNIE that the Union Environment ministry has asked the government to revise the Tamil Nadu State Action Plan on Climate Change (TNSAPCC 2.0), which was prepared with technical support from the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and accordingly, the action plan has been revised, reexamining the State-specific impacts and vulnerability.
“The final draft will shortly be placed before the committee headed by the Chief Secretary and later sent to the Union Environment ministry for approval and funding,” sources said. The revised action plan will emphasise health, gender, disaster management and mitigation, sustainable development goals and Composite Vulnerable Index (CVI) for the State in general and districts in particular based on 63 indicators.
The Department of Environment is the nodal agency implementing climate change-related programmes and coordinating with the concerned line departments in the State for submitting proposals under the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) in consultation with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Chief Minister MK Stalin, while inaugurating a recent international conference on ‘Ensuring food and nutrition security in the context of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic’ at MSSRF, said the State government identified climate change as an important issue affecting everyone. The Environment and Forests department also submitted a 10-year vision document to the government, which focuses on making TN climate-change resilient.
The biggest and most immediate threat is coastal erosion and the problem of sea-level rise. To a query on the impact of coastal erosion on fisheries, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala told Parliament on Tuesday that 32 per cent of the country’s coastline was under varying degrees of erosion, and Tamil Nadu ranks fourth with 41 per cent of its coastline eroding. West Bengal has the highest erosion problem with 60 per cent of its coastline eroding.
The analysis was done by NCCR, which is an arm of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. The NCCR has carried out a national shoreline change assessment mapping the Indian coast using 28 years of satellite data.